Dems 2008: Samantha Power outage [Karl]
Samantha Power, one of Barack Obama’s “non-ideological” senior foreign policy advisers,Ã‚Â isÃ‚Â currently on a globe-trotting PR jaunt for her new book on Sergio Vieira de Mello,Ã‚Â the UNÃ‚Â special envoyÃ‚Â killedÃ‚Â in Iraq in 2003.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Power is not exactly distinguishing herself.
During an interview with The Scotsman,Ã‚Â Power called Obama’s rival, Hillary Clinton, a “monster.”Ã‚Â Tres diplomatique, Ms. Power.
In an interview with England’s New Statesman magazine, Power stated that Obama would engage with Iran’s Pres. Ahmadinejad, as well as with North Korea and Syria.Ã‚Â But she was tripped up when asked if thereÃ‚Â was anyone he wouldn’t talk to –Ã‚Â answering, “Not among elected heads of state. He won’t talk to Hamas, but he would talk to Abbas.”Ã‚Â The interviewer then noted that Hamas was democratically elected, andÃ‚Â Abbas’s party, Fatah, lost the last popular vote.Ã‚Â What followed was a verbal flopsweat so profound thatÃ‚Â the interviewerÃ‚Â notes:
Power’s demeanour is so different by this point that I don’t believe she’s convinced by what she’s saying. Dissembling does not come at all easily to her, and if she is to be part of an Obama White House she will have to learn to deliver the odd fib more persuasively.
This is not the first time Power has stumbled over her own views.Ã‚Â In an interview with Haaretz, Schmuel Rosner asked Power about a 2002 interview which could reasonably be interpreted as Power supporting a ground invasion of Israel and the Palestinian territories:
Power herself recognizes that the statement is problematic. “Even I don’t understand it,” she says. And also: “This makes no sense to me.” And furthermore: “The quote seems so weird.” She thinks that she made this statement in the context of discussing the deployment of international peacekeepers. But this was a very long time ago, circumstances were different, and it’s hard for her to reconstruct exactly what she meant. Anyway, what she she said five years ago is less important that what she wants to say now: She absolutely does not believe in “imposing a settlement.” Israelis and Arabs “will negotiate their own peace.”
In reality, it is not at all difficult to reconstruct what Power meant, as Martin Kramer has done at his blog:Ã‚Â Power was supporting her then-colleague Michael Ignatieff’s proposal to impose and enforce a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a commitment of US troops.Ã‚Â Kramer drily observes:
It must be awful, at such a young age, to lose track of why you recommended the massive deployment of military force, and not that long ago.
Power gave Haaretz the excuse that this is not exactly her field.Ã‚Â That has in no way impeded Power from very publicly opining, for example, that the US invaded Iraq out of deference to Israel’s interests — a view even more extreme than that currently held by Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt (authors of the now-infamous “Israel Lobby” paper and book).Ã‚Â At the American Thinker, Richard Baehr and Ed Lasky note other instances of her anti-Israel bias, including comments on the Jenin non-massacre that now may be more extreme than those of the editor of The Guardian, who recently apologized for his paperÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s controversial editorial following IsraelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s incursion into the Jenin refugee camp in 2002.
The subject on which Power can claim expertise is genocide, having wonÃ‚Â a Pulitzer PrizeÃ‚Â in 2003 for her book, Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide,Ã‚Â which has received acclaim across the political spectrum.Ã‚Â However, her book’s advocacy for intervention to stop genocide — particularly US intervention to do so — would seem to run smack into Obama’s most well-known policy position of prompt withdrawal from Iraq.Ã‚Â The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff recently commented that a rapid withdrawal from Iraq would lead to a “chaotic situation” and would “turnaround the gains we have achieved, and struggled to achieve, and turn them around overnight.”Ã‚Â But perhaps Power does not care as much about a genocide that can be rationalized as caused by the wrong-headed policy of the evil BushCo.Ã‚Â After all, if Hillary Clinton is a “monster,” one can only imagine what she thinks of Pres. Bush.
Update:Ã‚Â Power resigns after apologizing for calling Clinton a monster, saying the comment did not reflect her true feelings about Clinton.Ã‚Â The remarks about the US invading Iraq at the bidding of the
Joos “special interests,” however,Ã‚Â apparentlyÃ‚Â remain operative and were not decried by the Obama campaign.